Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Earth Day ~ recycling in practice and song

Here in Upstate NY I'm planting seeds for Lemon Queen sunflower.

 I'm planting them indoors so that they'll be ready to transplant into my garden by our last frost date (usually end of May, but given the snow blowing around outside it's hard to say what this year will be like!). My goal this year is to have my sunflowers blooming in time to collect bee counts for the Great Sunflower Project ~ a citizen science project that collects data on pollinators in your garden.

All you need to plant a flower seed is the seed, some potting soil, and a container to put the soil into. I like to recycle containers as pots, so you might find me poking holes into the bottom of cleaned yogurt containers. But sometimes I run out, so I've taken to making seedling pots out of newspapers.

I start with a newspaper. Depending on how big the paper is, I might use a full sheet (it it's my hometown weekly) or just one page (if it's a big paper like the New York Times).

I fold the paper in half length-wise.
Then I find a can from the pantry. Soup cans are great for small pots, but for something like a sunflower I want a bit bigger pot. So a can of tomatoes or pasta sauce (not sure how long that's been on the shelf....)

Put the can on the paper so the newspaper extends beyond the can on one end - that will be the bottom of your pot. Then start rolling the can until you've got it all rolled up. The paper should go around three times or so.

Starting at the seam- that's the edge where you stopped rolling - fold the bottom ends in. Keep doing this all the way around until you've got a nice bottom. Then I turn the can over and give it a nice push to squash the base flat.
Take the can out and you've got a seedling pot.
I like to fold the top down because it strengthens the pot, but you don't have to.

Now you've got some seedling pots that can go right into the ground! And you've recycled newspapers. And you're growing plants for the bees.

Speaking of recycling, I'd like to introduce you to Hobo Frog, an advocate for recycling and conservation. Check out this song about Hobo Frog's adventures, written by my back-beyond-the-hayfield neighbor, Trish Engelhard. (really. go to the end of the hayfield, walk down the dirt road, take a left, then a right, go past the pond where Hobo Frog lives and you're practically to her house!)

1 comment:

  1. What a fun idea for kids to grow seeds. Thanks for the post.